Gender and Cropping: Cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa

Curran and Cook examine the cassava value chain in Nigeria, DRC, Ghana, Tanzania, Angola, and Uganda. They delineate men and women's roles and responsibilities in cassava production along each step of the value chain, including land preparation, plant propagation, soil fertility and cassava production, crop maintenance, harvest, post-harvest processing, and consumption and sale. They conclude that women provide much of the labor throughout the cassava production cycle, but are less involved in marketing, particularly as profits for cassava products increase. Women also have limited access to land, technology, machinery, and inputs at many of the steps along the value chain. Curran and Cook note that finding adequate labor for harvesting and processing is a growing constraint in Sub-Saharan Africa. The authors describe the importance of cassava for local farmers, the growth of cassava markets, how women and men interact along the chain, and how crops such as cassava can shift from ‰ÛÏwomen's‰Û to ‰ÛÏmen's‰Û and back again [although see Doss on the subject of ‰ÛÏwomen's‰Û and ‰ÛÏmen's‰Û crops]. This resource explains many of the gender-based constraints that women face in cassava production.

Curran, S, and J Cook. 2009. Gender and Cropping: Cassava in Sub-Saharan Africa. Prepared for the Science and Technology Team of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Seattle: University of Washington
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